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State focuses on ‘drug houses’ in case against alleged drug boss facing 229 charges

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The state tightened its case against one of Mitchell’s Plain’s biggest alleged drug lords using cell phone coordinates to map the times at which the syndicate’s workers clocked in to allegedly pack crystal meth.

Using GPS data from cell phones belonging to employees registered to Alterior Trading Solutions, the company allegedly acting as a front for suspected drug boss Fadwaan Murphy, police were able to place employees at 18 Reindeer Close, a farm in Lotus River which was allegedly being used as a drug house.

Among these employees are Murphy’s co-accused, Shafieka Murphy, Glenda Bird, Dominic Davidson, Leon Paulsen and Desmond Jacobs, whose bank account statements showed payments which coincide with every day they went in to work for Alterior Trading Solutions.

Murphy faces 229 counts relating to his alleged drug empire, with charges including racketeering, money laundering and drug dealing.

Two of the houses his organisation allegedly operated from, 7 and 10 Turskvy Street, were hot spots for drug-related arrests.

The activities there resulted in the community calling on vigilante group People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (Pagad) to try to burn down 7 Turksvy Street, and also resulted in a dispute between Murphy and the mother of a young man in the Cape Flats area who had become a drug addict.

According to testimony in court earlier this year by the police’s Mitchells Plain cluster crime intelligence information manager, Col Gerhardus Muller, the two houses had already been identified as drug outlets when the police started a massive project – named “Toxic” – to map the drug dealing in Mitchells Plain in 2004.

On Wednesday, the Cape Town High Court also heard how a man attempted to influence witness Zuluyga Fortuin to disrupt the state’s case just before she was set to testify.

A transcript of an audio recording from Rushdien Abrahams, which was downloaded from his cell phone after he was arrested for drug possession in February, detailed a conversation in which Abrahams allegedly coaches Fortuin about what she should say in her testimony.

Another witness, Felicia Wenn, was declared a hostile witness by acting judge Diane Davis in August. Wenn turned state witness when she was arrested along with Fortuin and Shafieka, but when she testified in court she turned against the state and contradicted her own statement.

The audio recording showed how Abrahams allegedly coached Fortuin to say that she was forced to make a statement and that if she did, Brits would be “charged with perjury, she loses her job, the case disappears”.

Abrahams regularly attended court proceedings as Murphy’s supporter before his arrest in February along with co-accused Charlene Davids. They were arrested in possession of nearly R200,000 worth of drugs and were charged with dealing in drugs, defeating the ends of justice, and corruption.

They are set to appear in court on October 29.

The case resumes on Thursday for cross-examination.

(SOURCE: TIMES LIVE)


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